Minutes of the meeting held on June 12, 2013

The Newtown Township Historical Architectural Review Board met on Wednesday, June 12, 2013, at 9:30 A.M. in the main meeting room of the Newtown Township Administration Building, 100 Municipal Drive, Newtown, PA.

Members present were Joseph McKernan, Kurt Jensen, Peggy Driscoll, Doug Terry and Harriet Beckert. Not present was member Bill Mahler and Mike Crane. Also present were Kurt Ferguson, Manager, Martin Vogt, Zoning Officer, and Patty Powers, Codes Department, and Olivia Kivenko as recording secretary.

Call to Order:

Mr. McKernan called the meeting to order at 9:35 A.M.

Minutes of May 8, 2013:

The members reviewed the minutes of May 8, 2013.

A motion was made to approve the minutes of May 8, 2013 as presented. The motion was seconded and passed unanimously (5-0).

New Business


Old Business

Discussion of the Certificate of Appropriateness Application/Design Guidelines

Mr. Ferguson discussed making changes to the application to make it easier for applicants to complete and for staff to have a checklist to make sure everything is included.

Mrs. Powers explained that this application has been this way for ten to twelve years and some things have been combined to make fewer pages. Mrs. Beckert asked if the application will have a signature page to include all of the Board of Supervisors. Mr. Ferguson explained that in speaking to the Chairman of the Board of Supervisors, the application will be signed by only the Chairman, unless there is a circumstance that he/she does not approve of, where someone else would sign for the majority. Ordinances, Resolutions, and Minutes will still include all voters.

In a discussion regarding the checklist, Mrs. Driscoll believed that everything was in order on the application. However, a “Procedure” list should be added. There was some discussion on whether HARB should come before the Zoning Hearing Board, but Mrs. Powers explained that the zoning officer accepts it first and it will go to the Zoning Hearing Board then to HARB to approve the “look”- architecture, etc. Mr. Vogt explained that the Zoning Hearing Board looks at requirements such as buildings, signs, right of ways, but not colors and such. After Zoning approval, the applicant comes to HARB, but this does not guarantee HARB recommendation.

Mr. Ferguson reiterated that the application will need Zoning approval first, and then a noted process to follow. For the applicant, it provides context for procedures and guidelines.

Mrs. Beckert discussed the terms “rehabilitation” versus “reconstruction”. Mr. Vogt explained that it comes from making it the same way as it was before. Mr. Jensen recommended it to say reconstruction and/or rehabilitation as they both could apply.

It was agreed that changes would be made to the application and emailed to the HARB members for review.

The members discussed how many sets of applications should be provided by the applicants. Mrs. Powers asks for ten (10) complete sets, for the HARB members, two (2) complete signed copies for the file, and one (1) hard copy in addition to the electronic copies, for the Board of Supervisors. Mrs. Driscoll and Mr. McKernan agreed this was an appropriate number to request.

It was agreed that, although there can not be specific stores/sites to purchase from, guidelines will be drafted with a list of helpful tips and/or suggestions for websites for lights, historic colors, and samples.

Mrs. Beckert expressed the need to have guidelines that work for state requirements. Mr. Terry suggested that the book of design guidelines be scanned and forwarded. Mr. Ferguson is working on upgrading the Township website with a portion dedicated to HARB with examples of colors and styles, with a disclaimer that some of the colors may be slightly off as they are scanned and placed online.

After some discussion of Sycamore Street signs and Ordinance, Mr. Vogt suggested to add maintenance to the application (such as color and style). Mrs. Powers also suggested that the Township should be notified if someone plans on repainting. The members agreed that there should be something in writing that there is no repainting before verification of the item in question.

Discussion on updates to the book of Ordinances.

To be discussed at the next meeting: Temporary Repairs

Privilege of the Floor



There being no further business to come before the Board, Mrs. Beckert made a motion to adjourn the meeting. The motion was seconded by Mrs. Driscoll and passed unanimously (5-0).

The meeting was duly adjourned at 10:20 AM.

The next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, July 10, 2013 at 9:30 A.M.


Respectfully Submitted,


Christy Holley-Flaherty, Recording Secretary